"Political leaders and wannabees should exercise rhetorical caution as they paint themselves and the U.S. into unwanted corners. Preventing Iran from nuclear weaponizing is important but not the greatest global threat."
"The hysterical, election-driven rhetoric about Iran today is almost verbatim the same as that associated with the Chinese acquisition of nuclear weapons in the 1960s."
"Iran is a dangerous country under great stress because of sanctions and fissures within the governing circles, but there are a number of dangerous threats to U.S. and world security. Hyperventilation is not helpful, but this is done on both sides of the aisle, especially in a political season."
"Sounds like Israeli hype. That Iran would be any more irresponsible than other nuclear powers is unsubstantiated."
"It is hard to think of any other contingency about which the hyperbole has gone so very far beyond any careful analysis as to exactly why it supposedly would be a threat."
"I thought it was Russia. What changed? The policy or the audience?"
'If he's right, we're in a delightful spot. Did our way of life really change on May 25, 2009? Compare an Iranian deterrent to, say, a euro collapse or a Chinese hard landing. It's no contest."
"We might have hoped for a bit more measure and a bit less hyperbole and pandering."
"Climate change comes higher, even if a nuke Iran were a nasty piece of work."
"The greatest threat to the world is the invasive species know as Man."
"Iran is a sponsor of terrorism. Enough said."
"A nuclear Iran would create a destabilizing arms race in the Middle East that could very well lead to a nuclear exchange in the region."
"Iran seeks to build an empire by defining itself in opposition to the West -- that would threaten peace for decades to come."
National Journal's National Security Insiders Poll is a periodic survey of defense and foreign-policy experts.
Gordon Adams, Charles Allen, Thad Allen, James Bamford, David Barno, Milt Bearden, Peter Bergen, Samuel "Sandy" Berger, David Berteau, Stephen Biddle, Nancy Birdsall, Kit Bond, Stuart Bowen, Paula Broadwell, Mike Breen, Steven Bucci, Nicholas Burns, Dan Byman, James Jay Carafano, Phillip Carter, Wendy Chamberlin, Michael Chertoff, Frank Cilluffo, James Clad, Richard Clarke, Steve Clemons, Joseph Collins, William Courtney, Roger Cressey, Gregory Dahlberg, Robert Danin, Richard Danzig, Paul Eaton, Andrew Exum, William Fallon, Eric Farnsworth, Jacques Gansler, Stephen Ganyard, Daniel Goure, Mike Green, Mark Gunzinger, Jim Harper, Michael Hayden, Pete Hoekstra, Bruce Hoffman, Paul Hughes, Colin Kahl, Donald Kerrick, Rachel Kleinfeld, Lawrence Korb, David Kramer, Andrew Krepinevich, Charlie Kupchan, W. Patrick Lang, Cedric Leighton, James Lindsay, Trent Lott, Peter Mansoor, Brian McCaffrey, Steven Metz, Franklin Miller, Philip Mudd, John Nagl, Shuja Nawaz, Kevin Nealer, Michael Oates, Thomas Pickering, Paul Pillar, Stephen Rademaker, Marc Raimondi, Celina Realuyo, Bruce Riedel, Barry Rhoads, Marc Rotenberg, Kori Schake, Mark Schneider, John Scofield, Tammy Schultz, Stephen Sestanovich, Sarah Sewall, Matthew Sherman, Jennifer Sims, Constanze Stelzenmüller, Frances Townsend, Mick Trainor, Suzanne Spaulding, Ted Stroup, Tamara Wittes, and Dov Zakheim.